Waterlooville Landlord - Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018
Have you heard about the Homes (Fitness For Human Habitation) Act 2018 which received it's Royal Assent on 20th December 2018? FFHH for short, is due to come into force on 20th March 2019 and is set to replace the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which requires all landlords to ensure that residential properties are put and kept in a condition fit for human habitation before and during the tenancy.
This legislation means a tenant can sue a landlord for any defect that constitutes a category 1 or category 2 hazard in line with the HHSRS (housing health and safety rating system). The FFHH is based on each individual property circumstance with the back up of the HHSRS system as a national grading system. The FFHH and HHSRS are not the same, they do have their similarities.
Example’s of a category 1 hazard are as follows:
dangerous electrics - any exposed wiring or overloaded sockets
damp and mould on the walls or ceiling
rats or other pest or vermin infestation
risk of falling on stairs, floors or outside paths
lack of security due to badly-fitting external doors or problems with locks
A category 2 hazard is a hazard which is less serious/urgent.
For a full copy of the HHSRS document please follow the below link
All social and private sector tenancies entered into on or after 20th March 2019 are covered under this new act including agents acting on behalf of a landlord. All previous tenancies will have a grace period. Ever residential and social property need to be fit for human habitation at the beginning and during a tenancy. To help prove a property is ‘fit’ it is imperative to have an Inventory conducted at the start of the tenancy, a Check Out at the end of the tenancy and for regular property inspections to be done which again are to be documented in writing and with photographic evidence. All maintenance is to be logged and records kept at every step, including document conversation or when access access has been declined or a phone call not answered to either arrange access or provide an update. If you do prefer a verbal conversation it is fine to continue to do this but I would recommend this is followed up with an email, for example, “following on from our conversation a moment ago…….” this way all maintenance repairs and correspondence can be kept.
The landlord or agent won’t be held responsible for any damage or disrepair the tenants have caused making an Inventory, and regular inspections invaluable.
Landlords should carry out any such works to put right issues right, there are a few exceptions
a landlord isn’t obligated to:
Rebuild or reinstate a destroyed building
Put right damage caused by the tenants making the property to be unfit
Carry out works which are the responsibility of the superior landlord, or which they are unable to obtain third party consent
Most landlords should have nothing to worry about in respect of this new act, a well maintained property should not be deemed unfit.
To read a copy of the Homes (Fitness for Human habitation) Act 2018 please follow the below link
We hope the above has been helpful, if you have any property related questions please don't hesitate to contact me.